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Festivals & Events

Festivals & Events


French public holidays are influenced by the important Catholic holidays, with the exception of Good Friday which is only observed in the Alsace prefecture. While most of them are movable, the Assumption of Mary into Heaven always falls on August 15, All Saints' Day on November 1, and Christmas on December 25. Other holidays include the New Year (Jan 1), May Day (May 1), Victory Day (May 8), Bastille Day (July 14), and Armistice Day (November 11). It is advisable to plan ahead for your travel arrangements, especially during the French school holidays which typically fall on late October through early November, Christmas, Easter, days in between May Day and Victory Day, and summer. Unlike its big neighbor to the east, France has one date for all the country on which vacations start and end. Naturally on and around this day, streets become crowded and prices for trains and planes skyrocket. If you can avoid travel during these times, do.

DateEnglish nameLocal nameRemarks
1 JanuaryNew Year's DayNouvel an / Jour de l'an / Premier de l'an 
moveableGood FridayVendredi saintFriday before Easter Sunday (observed only in Alsace and Moselle)
moveableEaster MondayLundi de PâquesMonday after Easter Sunday (one day after Easter Sunday)
1 MayMay Day/Labour DayFête du Travail / Fête des Travailleurs 
8 MayVictory in Europe DayFête de la VictoireEnd of hostilities in Europe in World War II
moveableAscension DayAscensionThursday, 39 days after Easter Sunday
moveableWhit MondayLundi de PentecôteMonday after Pentecost (50 days after Easter), observed only in some businesses, see notes
14 JulyBastille DayFête nationaleFrench National Day, commemorates the Feast of the Federation
15 AugustAssumption of Mary to HeavenAssomption 
1 NovemberAll Saints' DayToussaint 
11 NovemberArmistice DayArmistice de 1918End of World War I
25 DecemberChristmas DayNoël 
26 DecemberSt. Stephen's DaySaint-ÉtienneObserved only in Alsace and Moselle

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France - Travel guide


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